Thai firm B.Grimm says saving tigers could help prevent pandemics

Thai multinational corporation B.Grimm is backing a global campaign to ban the wildlife trade and protect nature as a means of preventing future pandemics. The company said Thailand’s success in growing its population of wild tigers could provide a positive example and inspiration to others.

While the world races to develop, test and distribute a Covid-19 vaccine, B.Grimm chairman Harald Link said another sustainable approach is to protect the natural world. He pointed out that HIV, Ebola, SARS, Avian Influenza and MERS all jumped from wild animals to humans. Covid-19 is believed to have come from a wild animal sold or consumed in a fresh market.

“A new vaccine will likely not work against the next outbreak because each virus strain is unique. The only true, lasting vaccine is to treat the root causes of the pandemic. Protect nature and nature will protect us,” Link said.

“We need to leave wild animals in their natural habitat and protect that environment for the sake of nature and for human health,” Link said.

Link’s grandfather was a pharmacist and one of the founders of B.Grimm in Bangkok in 1878. The firm started as the Siam Dispensary, a drug store. Today, B.Grimm’s empire spans construction, energy, healthcare, lifestyle, transport and real estate. It is known primarily as a developer of infrastructure.

The company is backing the global “EndPandemics” campaign along with conservation and anti-trafficking organizations the World Wildlife Fund, Freeland, and other groups trying to stop wildlife trafficking.

“All wild animals are precious and play important roles on our planet. When we remove them from their natural environment, we bring misery to them and tragedy upon ourselves,” Link said.

The Wildlife Conservation Society and other international environmental groups have praised Thailand for its strong work protecting its small population of wild tigers. Thailand is one of the places where the wild tiger population has rebounded and is starting to increase.

“The tiger is an ‘umbrella’ species,” Link said. “So all efforts to protect it have positive knock-on effects to the entire ecosystem and those who depend on it.”

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